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ND Volleyball: ND looks to down Hokies

Meredith Kelly | Wednesday, November 20, 2013


The Irish will host Virginia Tech today at Purcell Pavilion in the teams’ second meeting of the season.

Virginia Tech (21-9, 9-7 ACC) claimed victory in Blacksburg, Va., on Oct. 25 by a score of 3-1. This will be only the second time the Irish (11-16, 5-11 ACC) and the Hokies have met since 2003, when both programs were in the Big East conference. 

Last time Notre Dame met Virginia Tech, the Irish put forth a strong defensive effort but lacked in offensive performance, allowing Virginia Tech to take the match in four games. 

“One of the things we did not do very well is stop their outside hitters,” Irish coach Debbie Brown said. “[Freshman outside hitter] Lindsey Owens had a really great game against us with her hitting.” 

Brown said the Irish will try to adjust their blocking and defense for this game in order to counteract Virginia Tech’s power players, such as Owens. 

“We tried to look at the film and see how we could block them a little differently and defend a little differently and hopefully have more success,” Brown said.

Brown said during practice, the team focused on defense but also concentrated on sharpening its offense. 

“We worked on some stuff on our side as well,” Brown said. “We worked on our transition offense and our attack offense because last time we played them we just didn’t have enough kills.” 

Last week the Irish lost 3-0 to then-No. 22 Florida State, and Brown said the hard loss only made the team a little wiser heading into Wednesday’s game. 

“We learn every time we play, win or lose. There is always things to improve on for sure,” Brown said. “I think a strength of ours throughout the season has been our serving, and I think that we learned it is an important factor to winning.” 

The game against Virginia Tech will begin the first of four consecutive home games for the Irish and the last four games to close out the regular season. The Irish will face Virginia on Friday night and will play Boston College and Syracuse after Thanksgiving break. 

Brown said the team is excited to close out the season at home. 

“It is so great to be able to play at home,” Brown said. “The whole team is really looking forward to it, not only because there is nothing new about it and that we have a good routine, but also that we have had some really great crowds come out and infuse us with energy.”

The Irish face the Hokies for the second time this season Wednesday. The game begins at 7 p.m. in the Purcell Pavilion.

Contact Meredith Kelly at mkelly29@nd.edu